You can’t keep a good IPA down. National IPA Day is Thursday, August 5th, and if there’s one thing we appreciate as aficionados of the style, it’s that IPAs continues to delight and surprise us. From humble origins on sea-faring British ships, they’ve risen to become one of the world’s most popular beers, continuing to expand in their categories and overwhelm beer judging competitions 200-plus years later. IPAs are incredibly versatile and fun to experiment with—but surprise, it’s not all about the bitterness. These beers run the gamut from cheek-suckingly dry to honey-sweet; from bitter to fruity; and from supersonic ABVs to low-calorie. Basically, IPAs offer options for every palate (despite what your hop-phobic friend may tell you). So without further ado, here are 10 of our new Colorado favorites.
Bubbly By Nature – Bubbly IPA
In a class by itself, this beer surprises and delights—its bubbly effervescence practically explodes out of the can. The pale straw color and tiny bubbles are reminiscent of Italian prosecco, and a faint tropical sweetness prevails over any bitterness. It has a nice, dry finish that’s perfect for toasting. Try serving this variety in a Champagne glass at your next party—no one will believe it’s beer.
Strawberry Jam Sucka – New England IPA
Ramblebine Brewing Co.
This pink perfection is unfiltered and murky, as it should be. Colorado-grown strawberries and hops help create a mellow, chill beer that’s sweetly smooth with a smidge of bitterness. At 6 percent ABV, it’s the perfect strength and tastes like summer in a can. Don’t be surprised to see sediment at the bottom of the glass—a result of its unfiltered nature.
Stealth Haze – Hazy IPA
Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project
An all-around go-to with a golden cloudy appearance and hop-forward nose, this beer is everything you’d expect in a hazy IPA. It’s juicy, bright, and well-balanced with a subtle fruitiness. Packed full of El Dorado, Mosaic, and Citra hops, it definitely hits all the right bitterness notes. Pair it with summer grill fare to treat your taste buds.
Juicy Bits – New England IPA
Despite its straw-yellow color, look out for a big citrus punch. Orange zest prevails, giving this beer an irresistible mouthfeel from start to finish. Incredibly dense, you’ll need to chew this beer rather than sip it. It has an aromatic sweetness and isn’t too bitter, offering up a well-composed profile. It’s a flagship beer for a reason—you can drink this IPA all year round.
Get ready for a beautiful floral aroma and clean-tasting beer. With a touch of spice, Belgian yeasts give this IPA an unexpected edge, balanced bitterness, and dry finish. Reminiscent of a witbier with a ton of added hops, it’s a great companion to hearty salads and charcuterie boards.
Sanitas Brewing Co
With beige foam atop sludge black beer, this conversation-starting IPA is dark as death. The added dark roasted malts give it a toasty, bready flavor—but with an expectedly dry finish, it’s IPA all the way. We love a memorable (albeit very dark) take on an old standard.
Fastpack – IPA
Great Divide Brewing Company
Astonishingly, this snappy 99-calorie beer is a hands-down winner—we drank several to be sure. A big Rocky Mountain head stays foamy while you sip, and the crisp, hoppy beer is light and refreshing. It features a dry, thirst-quenching finish with a splash of lemon. The 4 percent ABV offers easy drinkability on the warmest of days—perfect for any athletic endeavors.
Star Destroyer – Imperial IPA
After popping this aggressive-looking can boasting 110 IBUs, we expected a fight, but inside is a sexy, dark golden liquid. The high bitterness is offset with sweet caramels, resulting in a malty/toasty mouthfeel with a crisp finish. This one also brings the booze with a 8.6 percent ABV, but it tastes just right. Already approaching its 10th birthday, this venerated classic is still light years ahead of its time.
Mad Monkey Mojo – American IPA
This circus-themed Arvada brewery is new to the Colorado craft beer scene, but its IPA makes a big entrance. Golden copper colors sparkle with crystal clear clarity, topped with a nice fat layer of foam. Expect a bitter taste up front with a spicy finish.
Eject Mindcapsule – Double IPA
New Image Brewing
Hold on to your hat because, as promised by its name, this IPA is explosive. It looks mild at first pour, but as the foam dissipates, a cloudy, yellow straw liquid appears—and then comes the flavor. Sweet notes of strawberry, grapefruit, and mandarin meet the bitterness of hops for an explosion of different tastes. A honey-esque finish leaves you wanting more, but watch out—at 10.5 percent ABV, this super boozy beer may have the final say.